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Medical malpractice insurance companies have made an art form out of deflecting responsibility for doctors' high insurance rates. The insurers claim, in the court of public opinion, that if patients' legal rights are limited - typically with a cap on noneconomic damages in malpractice lawsuits - then doctors' premiums will drop...Medical malpractice insurance companies have made an art form out of deflecting responsibility for doctors' high insurance rates. The insurers claim, in the court of public opinion, that if patients' legal rights are limited - typically with a cap on noneconomic damages in malpractice lawsuits - then doctors' premiums will drop. But these smoking guns pull back the curtain. When malpractice insurers have to explain their rates to state insurance regulators, they admit that damage caps do little, if anything, to lower medical malpractice insurance rates.

We got our hands on a few of those admissions. 

Marsh USA, South Carolina, 2005: The company running South Carolina's largest medical malpractice insurer testified to the state legislature that "our data is just not adequate" to guarantee that a cap on non-economic damages would lower doctors' malpractice premiums. Read the letter.

GE Medical Protective, Texas, 2004: The company formally filed this data with the Texas Department of Insurance after the state enacted severe limits on non-economic damages for medical malpractice claims (Texas Proposition 12). The company explains why it needs to raise rates for physicians despite the caps, because capping damages created virtually no savings for the company. Read the filing.

SCPIE, California, 2003: California's medical malpractice cap has been on the books for thirty-eight years. A Vice President and Actuary of SCPIE, James Robertson, testified in court that California's malpractice cap law, known as MICRA, does not reduce the risk of malpractice insurance in California. Read the testimony - especially page 4.